Most People Have Forgotten About this Creepy Abandoned Town in Florida

Florida, renowned for its sun-soaked beaches, theme parks, and diverse culture, harbors a hidden secret—an eerie, abandoned town that time seems to have forgotten. This ghostly enclave is Fort Dade, nestled on Egmont Key, an island at the entrance of Tampa Bay. Once a bustling military outpost during the Spanish-American War, Fort Dade now stands in dilapidated solitude, haunted by the specters of its storied past.

The History of Fort Dade

Established in 1898 as part of the coastal defense system, Fort Dade was a fully-equipped military installation boasting batteries, barracks, a hospital, a movie theater, and even a lighthouse. Home to around 300 residents, the fort enjoyed a vibrant social life until its decommissioning in 1923. Following abandonment, the island transformed into a wildlife refuge and state park.

The Mystery of Fort Dade

Fort Dade’s allure lies in its enigmatic history. Strategically perched at the mouth of Tampa Bay, the fort never witnessed combat, yet its abandonment left behind a trove of artifacts. The hurried departure left structures both intact and crumbling, creating an atmospheric blend of the past and the present. Persistent rumors of hauntings add an extra layer of intrigue, with visitors reporting eerie sounds and spectral sightings.

The Adventure of Fort Dade

For history enthusiasts and nature lovers seeking adventure, Fort Dade offers a unique experience. Accessible only by boat, the island lacks amenities, requiring visitors to bring their provisions. The absence of services adds to the sense of exploration.

Home to diverse wildlife, including gopher tortoises and seabirds, the island invites exploration of the fort’s remnants and appreciation of its natural beauty. Visitors can traverse brick roads, explore batteries and the lighthouse, and savor panoramic views of the bay and Gulf of Mexico. Caution is advised, as the island is a historic site and wildlife sanctuary, with certain areas off-limits or potentially unsafe.


Fort Dade stands as a forgotten gem, offering a glimpse into Florida’s less-explored history. This fusion of the past and present, the natural and man-made, creates an atmosphere both eerie and serene. A visit to Fort Dade beckons a sense of curiosity and imagination, tempered with respect and caution. This remarkable place deserves remembrance before it succumbs to the relentless march of time and nature.

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